New Delhi: The energy and mysticism of Sufi, they say are the two factors that keep them consistently magnetised towards the genre. Adding that the opportunity of involving classical music is a plus , the band members of Kolkata-based ‘Humsufi’ say, “Singing in front of youngsters and watching them dance to sargams is thrilling. While Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan was the first influence for us, we went deeper into the subject and started relating to the concept of one God and felt a spiritual connection,” says band frontman Krsna.
Conceived in 2012, the members were already a part of a classical fusion outfit before they decided to form ‘Humsufi’. “Whilst doing the show we got a few requests of Sufi songs which we happened to know and that’s how the idea was seeded. Sufi as a genre was a common interest of all the members and we found a ground to express our musical influences.”
Stressing that it is extremely tough to survive as an independent band, the members lament that the market has become extremely competitive, especially after the advent of online streaming, and it’s a challenge for independent bands to reach out to a larger audience.
“We have been fortunate that our live performances have been extremely well received by audiences even from the very early days of the band. For us, live gigs continue to be the primary medium to spread our music,” the band members say.
Krsna adds that the main challenge lies in giving something new to the listeners. “To sustain as a band, live gigs are the lifeblood, it’s been a journey of struggle and constant experimentation. For us, it’s a game where there are new levels and a constant urge to push ourselves to keep on delivering.”
Lamenting that the lockdown was a major downer considering it became tough for them to to meet up and practice, the lead member adds that though they started performing in virtual gigs from August last year, the absence of a live audience took a huge toll on them.
“However, it was also an eye-opener of sorts as the the band members had a better understanding about each other considering they underwent a kind of contemplation and understood the value of the band in their lives even more. The period made us more determined to rise up to the need of the hour.”
The band, which will play during HCL Soundscapes on February 5 feels that it is important that more corporate houses step in to support the arts. “Considering the period we are going through, the future of the industry as a whole is dependent on initiatives like these.”
Although they have worked on multiple studio projects including jingles and background scores, Krsna says that after the amount of time that devoted to developing live productions, there are very few days left to work in studio based projects. “We have always wanted to compose and sing for films and are waiting for a good opportunity,” he adds.
Planning to release originals soon and build up their social media connect considering they are mainly dependent on live gigs, the members who look upto bands like Euphoria, Indian Ocean, say, “Now we intend to spread our connect even more.”